@musictechpolicy: The best way to hit back at Silicon Valley power: End supervoting stock held by insiders via @NYDailyNews

The meltdown of WeWork’s CEO and Mark Zuckerberg’s bizarre threat to sue the U.S. offer a teachable moment: When you concentrate vast and unaccountable control over major companies in founders — no matter how creative or capable — bad things happen.

In Silicon Valley, the problem starts with “supervoting” stock structures that let the CEO (mostly) boy wonders raise mountains of cash from star-struck investors without giving up meaningful control over the company. The trick is a gimmicky “dual-share” stock structure in which the insiders’ own shares have powerful voting rights but ordinary investors are stuck on the sidelines. SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson has warned this dual class in effect creates “corporate royalty.”George Orwell would probably say it’s just another example of the “Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others” corruption that eventually poisons pretty much every revolution.

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@hypebot: How To Contact The Court If PledgeMusic Owes You Money plus Confirmation That An Investigation Is Underway

Attorney and artist advocate Chris Castle received a confirmation via tweet that the Official Receiver was also tasked with determining “the cause of its failure.” Further, “if unacceptable conduct is identified she can seek to have the directors banned from running other companies for up to 15 years.” That’s not exactly the punishment that those affected had hoped for it wrongdoing is proven but also does not rule out further legal or government action against the PledgeMusic board and executives.

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@hypebot: @SoundExchange Launches Music Data Exchange To Connect Label, Publisher Metadata — Music Tech Solutions

SoundExchange’s new Music Data Exchange (MDX) is a promising idea that gets at the real problem with mass infringement of songs by digital services. It also gives some hope of actually reducing the “pending and unmatched” (or “black box” in the vernacular) at the source–before the songs are infringed.

via @hypebot: @SoundExchange Launches Music Data Exchange To Connect Label, Publisher Metadata — Music Tech Solutions

@legrandnetwork: US elections: Music industry executives outline their copyright wish list

The US elections will take place on November 8, 2016. On that day, US citizens will not only elect a new President of the United States but also renew Congress, as a total of 34 Senate seats (out of 100) and all 435 House of Representatives seats are up for election.

Music Week asked music industry professionals two questions: 1) What would be the three main copyright-related issues that you’d like to see fixed by the next President/Congress? And 2) And what is the likelihood that these issues will indeed be fixed during the next four years? Here are their answers.

Chris Castle, Attorney, author of the blog Music Technology Policy.

The top three issues to me would be somewhat US centric. Each has a minor fix and major fix. Two of the three relate to songwriters who are probably the most highly regulated workers in US history.

ASCAP and BMI consent decrees: The major fix would be to acknowledge that the consent decrees are about as anachronistic as the piano roll and for the government to simply dismiss these antitrust cases and allow ASCAP and BMI to issue complete licenses for streaming services. And as this new rule [of imposing “full work” licenses] was created out of whole cloth by the Obama administration through an extraordinarily Kafkaesque process, it should be possible for a new President to simply extinguish it.

The government needs to take responsibility for the administration of its compulsory mechanical license. This is more than just setting a fair rate (something the government forgot to do between 1909 and 1978); it also involves allowing songwriters the ability to conduct a royalty examination of music users and creating some mechanism for music users to lose the right to rely on the compulsory license when they abuse it or fail to license substantial numbers of songs. The current compulsory license is silent on both these issues. That’s the minor fix, but it would require Congress to act. But can you really blame a music user who abuses the system and simply doesn’t obtain compulsory licenses for thousands or hundreds of thousands of songs if there is no downside for failing to do so – except a federal copyright infringement lawsuit that only a handful of songwriters can afford to pursue?

DMCA reform: The problems we have with safe harbours are not uniformly applicable to all who could qualify for it. For example, the telecoms who came together in the Copyright Alert System are not really the problem. The problems can be attributed to one large player in the DMCA game – Google’s legacy businesses like Search and YouTube. Google routinely abuses the safe harbours both in the US and in Europe. There’s no reason to lump all safe harbour users together. Rather than abolish the safe harbour altogether, it makes more sense to ally our interests with those of the participants in the Copyright Alert System and exclude companies like Google from the safe harbour. In addition to the fundamental problem with the safe harbours as applied to Google, the ruling in the Lenz case that anyone sending a DMCA notice needs to essentially get a legal opinion on whether the offending use fits the fact-dependent definition of “fair use” at US law needs to be extinguished. The average artist has no idea what the court’s idea of “considering” fair use means and can’t afford to hire a lawyer to tell them.

David Lowery, songwriter/performer/activist

Clinton has subordinated copyright to tech policy. It’s right there in her tech platform. Google chairman Eric Schmidt is deeply involved in her campaign. Google will block meaningful reform by exerting influence on Clinton. No hope.

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Save the Date! Oct 13 in LA MUSIC 2020 Panel at @AIMPorg

I’m looking forward to participating on a great panel on fixing our future in the music business, moderated by the brilliant Dr. Gigi Johnson, founder and executive director of the UCLA Center for Music Innovation. Music 2020: Recreating Music’s Future will be a lunch time panel held on October 13 in Los Angeles under the […]

via Save the Date! Oct 13 in LA MUSIC 2020 Panel at @AIMPorg — Music Tech Solutions